The NFL is already taking precautions in case the coronavirus pandemic impacts the 2020-21 season. It's become an obvious concern because football is a contact sport that can't practice social distancing while on the field.
Well, the league has been experimenting with a solution to that by partnering with Oakley to develop special facemasks using surgical or N95 material. Thom Mayer, the NFLPA's medical director told ESPN's Adam Schefter during his podcast on Monday about the collaboration.
"Back in early March, I had suggested that we should consider novel and emerging ways to handle the helmets and the facemasks and the spread of the virus," Mayer said. "And these guys, the bioengineers that we use and that the league uses -- Oakley, as you may or may not know, does all the face visors for the league under contract -- these guys got the bit between their teeth."
Mayer said that prototypes have been made, but there is still more work to do. Some issues, like the facemask fogging up for instance, make that list.
Of course, this would be a solution to many issues that come with playing football during this pandemic. And Mayer knows the NFLPA will be urging players to be thinking cautiously about spreading the virus on and off the field.
"For a player like that, getting the helmet off, putting a mask on right afterwards, maintaining social distancing when not in the field as much as possible, using single-use hydration, whether water, Gatorade, whatever it might be -- I mean, just every little detail," he said.
As the pandemic's circumstances continue to evolve, the NFL will continue to adapt and that means thinking of ways like these facemasks to prevent the spread of the virus as much as possible.